Unbeaten Matchups and State Ranked Teams

A special tasty treat in the postseason football playoffs takes place when two undefeated opponents collide in which one of the two will lose and will be done for the season.

Three such matchups take place this week: De La Salle of Concord (11-0) vs. San Leandro (12-0) in the CIF North Coast Section Class 4A finals; Hart of Newhall (11-0) vs. Mira Costa of Manhattan Beacn (12-0) in the CIF Southern Section Div. III semifinals; and Los Gatos (12-0) vs. San Lorenzo Valley of Felton (12-0) in the CIF Central Coast Section Div. III finals.

San Leandro was involved in a similar matchup last week in the NCS 4A semis and rolled to a 48-24 victory over Foothill of Pleasanton. Foothill entered with a 10-0-1 mark, but could not stop the big plays of the San Leandro offense. Junior QB Dennis Dixon hooked up with junior WR Sam Cheatham for touchdowns of 72, 61 and 33 yards and senior RB Jarrad Page rushed for 138 yards.

The Pirates, of course, may be in too deep against De La Salle, which will be trying to wrap up its third FAB 50 national title in the last four years and its eighth consecutive CalHiSports State Team of the Year crown. 

Last weekend, Logan High of Union City, which hadn't lost since Sept. 21, was completely outclassed by the top-ranked Spartans in the other NCS 4A semi. De La Salle cruised to a 45-0 win. De La Salle outgained Logan by 336-70 in yards and outscored the Colts by 38-0 at halftime. Matt Gutierrez completed 10 of 14 passes for 168 yards and added 66 yards rushing. Maurice Drew rushed for 91 yards and scored three touchdowns, while runningmate Alijah Bradley rushed for 71 yards and also scored three times. The win put De La Salle's national record win streak at 124 games.

If De La Salle were to somehow lose, Long Beach Poly, if it were to win another CIF Southern Section Div. I title, would be next in line to be State Team of the Year. The Jackrabbits had to hang on in the fourth quarter to post a 21-13 victory last Friday over Loyola of Los Angeles in the CIFSS Div. I quarterfinals. Poly led 21-0, but Loyola scored twice in the fourth quarter and had a chance for the onside kick recovery with 2:15 left. That attempt failed and the Jackrabbits were able to run out the clock. Brandon Brooks led Poly's offensive efforts with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Marcedes Lewis, a 43-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Jones and a one-yard touchdown run. Herschel Dennis also rushed for 155 yards on 26 carries, but was kept out of the end zone. Next up for Poly is a matchup in the semifinals on Friday against Los Alamitos (10-2-1).

San Leandro, along with Edison of Huntington Beach, was a major mover in this week's overall state top 20. The Pirates went up from No. 13 to No. 9 after their impressive win over Foothill. Edison climbed from No. 10 to No. 6 after dominating Bishop Amat of La Puente, 47-14, in the CIFSS Div. I quarterfinals. A.J. Martinez of Edison had touchdowns on an 85-yard kickoff return, a 37-yard run and on a 15-yard scoring reception. Martinez' teammate, Tommy Grady, had an efficient night in the Chargers' win, too. The standout junior QB completed 14 of 18 passes for 230 yards and five touchdowns.

Hart, which remained at No. 4 in this week's state rankings but moved up to No. 34 in the FAB 50 national rankings (see studentsports.com), knocked off Antelope Valley of Lancaster 38-9 in the CIFSS Div. III playoffs. The Indians are now two wins away from their fourth straight section title. Matt Moore completed 19-of-29 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns and Mickey Mercado added three touchdowns and 134 yards rushing in the win. Hart next plays Mira Costa (12-0) Saturday at El Camino College. The Mustangs kept up their part of the unbeaten vs. unbeaten matchup with a 24-21 victory over St. Francis of La Canada. They are led by standout running back Michael Okwo, a 6-0, 195-pound junior.

Los Gatos and San Lorenzo Valley also will be playing in a matchup of the current No. 1 Div. III team in the state vs. last year's No. 1 Div. III team in the state. The Wildcats pounded South San Francisco last week, 62-13, as All-American quarterback Trent Edwards sizzled by going 13 of 13 for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Edwards was 11 of 11 in last year's title game and improved to 25-0 as a starter. San Lorenzo Valley advanced with a 24-21 win over Terra Nova of Pacifica.

Two unbeaten vs. unbeaten matchups that did not materialize were spoiled by Mater Dei of Santa Ana, Palmdale and Valencia. The Monarchs prevented Redlands from moving into this week's CIFSS Div. I semis opposite Edison by knocking them off, 44-28. Palmdale and Valencia, meanwhile, advanced to the CIFSS Div. III semis instead of unbeaten Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks and unbeaten Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta. Palmdale edged Notre Dame, 14-7, while Valencia downed Crescenta Valley, 27-15. Charles Burnley led Valencia with 185 yards rushing and two TDs, including a 51-yarder in the fourth quarter.
   
STATE FOOTBALL TOP 20
Compiled by Mark & Nelson Tennis for CalHiSports.com
Last week's rank in parentheses; after games of Nov. 17

 1.      (1)    De La Salle (Concord) 11-0
 2.      (2)    Poly (Long Beach) 10-1
 3.      (3)    Mission Viejo 12-0
 4.      (4)    Hart (Newhall) 11-0
 5.      (5)    Bakersfield 11-0
 6.    (10)    Edison (Huntington Beach) 10-0-1
 7.      (7)    Elk Grove 12-0
 8.      (9)    Chino 11-0
 9.    (13)    San Leandro 11-0
10.    (14)    Mitty (San Jose) 12-0
11.    (17)    Los Alamitos 9-2-1
12.    (12)    Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 8-2-2
13.    (15)    Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 8-4
14.    (20)    St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 12-0
15.    (16)    Bishop Amat (La Puente) 9-2
16.    (18)    Loyola (Los Angeles) 7-3-1
17.     (nr)    Edison (Fresno) 10-0-1    
18.     (nr)    Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 12-0
19.      (8)    Redlands 11-1
20.     (nr)    Vista 9-2

Notes & Highlights
Here's how Bishop Amat was able to move up one spot even though the Lancers lost 47-14 to Edison in the CIF Southern Section Div. I playoffs: 1. Edison jumped up to No. 6 after the big win; 2. Three other teams ranked ahead of Amat also lost last week; 3. Loyola, a team Amat beat, played No. 2 Long Beach Poly strongly in a 21-13 loss; 4. The other team Amat lost to, Mater Dei, moved up to No. 13 after downing previous No. 8 Redlands............Bakersfield opened the CIF Central Section playoffs with a 56-27 victory over Sunnyside of Fresno. It won't be as easy this week in the semis vs. Clovis West. The Golden Eagles won last week 47-0 over Monache of Porterville. The Drillers also have a recent history of not doing very well in the playoffs against teams from the Clovis Unified School District........No. 7 Elk Grove trailed Nevada Union of Grass Valley, 27-7, with 11:44 left but rallied to defeat the Miners, 28-27, in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I playoffs. Tyrice Daniels jumpstarted the comeback with a 96-yard kickoff return. Brandon Gross then threw a 72-yard TD pass to Tony Kays with 3:34 left and scored the game-winner himself on a one-yard run with 20 seconds to go. Elk Grove plays 10-1 Johnson of Sacramento in the Sacramento city title game. The Warriors have bounced back from a final regular season road loss to Oak Ridge and are now healthy. Quarterback Tremayne Kirkland returned last week and directed a 40-6 demolition of Grant. Vince Mays also rushed for 191 yards and scored two TDs........We wanted to get a CIF San Diego Section team into the top 20 this week and since we did not want to switch the order of Helix and Monte Vista in Div. II (the two play a rematch game this week) we went with Vista. The Panthers have emerged in recent weeks with a phenomenal defense. They've outscored their last four opponents, 197-3........

STATE RANKINGS BY DIVISION & REGION

DIVISION I
 1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 11-0
 2. (2) Poly (Long Beach) 10-1
 3. (3) Mission Viejo 12-0
 4. (4) Hart (Newhall) 11-0
 5. (5) Bakersfield 11-0
 6. (10) Edison (Hunt. Bch.) 10-0-1
 7. (7) Elk Grove 12-0
 8. (9) Chino 10-0-1
 9. (nr) San Leandro 11-0
10. (nr) Mitty (San Jose) 12-0

DIVISION II
 1. (2) Edison (Fresno) 10-0-1
 2. (3) Monte Vista (Spr. Vall.) 10-1
 3. (4) Helix (La Mesa) 10-1
 4. (6) Golden West (Visalia) 10-1
 5. (7) Oceanside 10-1
 6. (9) Del Oro (Loomis) 11-1
 7. (10) La Mirada 10-1
 8. (nr) Manteca 11-0-1
 9. (1) Arroyo Grande 10-1
10. (nr) Newport Harbor (Newp. Bch.) 10-1-1

DIVISION III
 1. (1) Los Gatos 12-0
 2. (2) Miramonte (Orinda) 12-0
 3. (3) Brea-Olinda (Brea) 11-0
 4. (4) La Quinta 11-0-1
 5. (5) San Lorenzo V. (Felton) 12-0
 6. (8) Marian Catholic (San Diego) 11-0
 7. (6) Lassen (Susanville) 12-0
 8. (9) South Hills (Covina) 11-1
 9. (10) North (Torrance) 11-1
10. (nr) Inglewood 10-2

DIVISION IV
 
1. (1) St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 12-0
 2. (2) Dos Palos 10-1
 3. (4) Paraclete (Lancaster) 10-0
 4. (3) Lutheran (Orange) 9-1-2
 5. (6) Sutter 12-0
 6. (7) Central Catholic (Modesto) 11-1
 7. (9) Cathedral (Los Angeles) 9-2
 8. (nr) Christian (El Cajon) 10-1
 9. (nr) Cloverdale 10-1
10. (nr) Escalon 10-2

DIVISION V
 1. (1) Santa Fe Chr. (Solana Bch.) 10-0
 2. (5) Middletown 11-0
 3. (3) Immanuel (Reedley) 10-1
 4. (4) Arrowhead Chr. (Redlands) 11-1
 5. (6) Oaks Christian (Westl. Vill.) 11-0-1
 6. (7) Campbell Hall (N. Hollywood) 11-0-1
 7. (2) Caruthers 9-2
 8. (8) Brentwood (Los Angeles) 8-2
 9. (9) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 9-0
10. (nr) Tomales 10-1

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA OVERALL TOP 10
 1. (1) De La Salle (Concord) 11-0
 2. (2) Bakersfield 11-0
 3. (3) Elk Grove 12-0
 4. (4) San Leandro 11-0
 5. (5) Mitty (San Jose) 12-0
 6. (7) Edison (Fresno) 10-0-1
 7. (8) Los Gatos 12-0
 8. (9) Lincoln (Stockton) 11-1
 9. (nr) Johnson (Sacramento) 10-1
10. (10) Golden West (Visalia) 10-1

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OVERALL TOP 10
 
1. (1) Poly (Long Beach) 10-1
 2. (2) Mission Viejo 12-0
 3. (3) Hart (Newhall) 11-0
 4. (7) Edison (Hunt.Bch.) 10-0-1
 5. (6) Chino 11-0
 6. (nr) Los Alamitos 9-2-1
 7. (10) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 8-4
 8. (9) Santa Margarita (RSM) 8-2-2
 9. (nr) St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 12-0
10. (nr) Bishop Amat  (La Puente) 9-2


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